Pasadena PHAMExpo Highlights

 86 beauty companies gathered to show their wares at the PHAMExpo beauty show in Pasadena this past weekend.  PHAME stands for Professional Hair and Makeup Exposition and is decidedly different than any of the other beauty trade show because it featured emerging and entertainment industry artists with fresh ideas. For those of us in the industry (me at 30 years) that want to see what is actually new, this was the show to attend.

The show served as a launching point for new beauty companies such as Static Nails, still in its infancy at 4 weeks old but also featured old time favorites like RCMA, otherwise known as the Research Council of Makeup Artists.  

 I attended the show at a time when the general public was there and found that most vendors took the time to excitedly to talk about the breakthroughs of their products as well as services. The first booth featured at the entrance was Lime Crime. Although their appearance was splashy, the products were received with a lukewarm reception because they have nothing new, no connection on the internet or the industry.

 On the other hand, The Makeup Geek had lines around the corner. Industry insiders should take note of how they interact on the internet. They are speaking “with” their audiences while most beauty companies are speaking “at” their audience.  Kudos to The Makeup Geek and PHAME for understanding that we are all in the industry alike.  I tried to get a great shot of the lines for The Makeup Geek but it was so long that I could not really capture what was going on.


Producer siblings Janice and Denise Tunnell of Beauty Talk Radio created the PHAMEous Nail Competition and were there on hand to cover the highlights from the best nail techs in the industry. 

Competition judges came from all walks of the nail side of the industry from nail polish manufacturers, nail salon owners and celebrity nail techs from the entertainment industry.


The newly opened Michael Vincent Academy created show stopping performances that were unmatched by any of the other booths. The booth was filled with beautiful models in balloon dresses and top-of-the-line hair and makeup artists giving demonstrations. Founded by photographer Michael Vincent and wife Tal, they bring real time high end fashion experience from accomplished celebrity fashion talent which now trains others to be the best in the business. This kind of talent is unmatched at ANY of the current schools where the old and unused techniques are taught by industry has-beens.  Michael and Tal bring a breath of fresh air and take the industry up a notch. 

At Tonic all products are 100% Vegan. Being trained from a prominent cosmetics manufacturer, I had this idea that Vegan simply did not work and that it is necessary to have manufactured ingredients in order to care for skin. However, Nikki Greene (shown here) and Erica Lynne showed me how wrong my theories and training were.  My favorite product is the Makeup Skin Primer. It feels, looks and does the exact same thing that other primers do but it nontoxic. Throw away your toxins! Hello to natural. With Tonic there is no need to trade your health in exchange for great skin care.

Other highlights included the fun punky styles that the April Love Beauty Academy turned out.

Diamond infused mineral cosmetics from Purely Cosmetics which were created especially for those with delicate or aging skin.  The reflective quality of the diamonds help to create a natural glow minimizing the look of lines and wrinkles.

Paper eyelashes from COA cosmetics.

Lastly, Celebrity makeup artist Melanie Mills best known for her work on “Dancing With the Stars” offers her new book of secrets entitled “Glitter and Glam” along with her Gleam line of cosmetics.

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